TV

Lena Waithe’s Autobiographical Comedy “Twenties” Gets Picked Up By TBS

"Queer black characters have been the sidekick for long enough. It’s time for us to finally take the lead."

TBS has ordered a pilot for Lena Waithe’s autobiographical comedy, Twenties. The single-camera show tells the story of Hattie, a queer black twenty-something trying to make her way in L.A. alongside her two straight BFFs, Marie and Nia.

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The announcement follows a string of successes for Waithe: In September she won an Emmy for co-writing the Master of None episode “Thanksgiving,” which told her coming out story. And The Chi, which Waithe created and executive produces, has been picked up for a second season on Showtime.

She says shows like Twenties are overdue.

“I wrote [it] back in 2009,” Waithe said in a statement. “I always wanted to tell a story where a queer black woman was the protagonist… Queer black characters have been the sidekick for long enough. It’s time for us to finally take the lead.”

Ultimately, she says, she wants more diverse voices in Hollywood.

“I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot,” she told Vulture last spring, “but for me it’s about pushing to the point where I can be Mark Walhberg, Ryan Murphy, or Shonda Rhimes. I want to be at that table in terms of bringing new voices in. There’s a lot of Donald Glovers, Jordan Peeles, Justin Simiens. And there’s a lot of me’s, too. I just want to go find them and help open the door so they can walk in.”

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